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CONSIDER THE PLIGHT OF THOSE LESS FORTUNATE THAN YOU. DONE? OKAY, LET'S GET SOME BURRITOS.
Contradictions abound, misled adventurers stumble upon the magnificent or starve in the wilderness. We need map-makers with 24-hour beepers, multi-lingual interpreters to transcribe interviews with the mad, and ravenous hipsters to digest it all and misquote the profound at dinner parties.
Scott Hefflon, "Prelude to a Lick"
O.K. It's New Year's Eve. Like every other New Year's Eve of the past decade you've ended up at a half-assed party in a crumbling loft in the middle of some vacant bohemian ghetto. You're surrounded by all the usual suspects: to your right there's the standard contingent of ultra-pretentious art-chicks, all wearing exactly the same slinky black cocktail dress and Louise Brooks hairstyle, laughing in a self-conscious blasé fashion at opaque jokes about obscure Somalian frescos... Then of course there's the usual drooling herd of baseball-capped, beer-swilling, bellowing Blowfish boys prowling ineptly for "some 'tang" in between high-fives. In direct contrast, over to your left by the fake fern and "found art" there's the wispy smattering of anemic post-grunge pretty boys sucking in their cheeks while frantically seeking wayward Details photographers. You're half in the bag, drinking some vile purple liquid out of a plastic cup, trapped in a corner by some coked-out motherfucker with bad breath who cadges your cigarettes and won't stop chattering about his scheme to end world hunger with aspirin and orange soda. A "post-apocalyptic" lighting scheme is artfully provided by two flickering 40-watts, the stereo blasts the Fugees at a volume usually reserved for sub-atomic detonation and your next-door-neighbors' arguments, and the place stinks like a damp monkey cage on the set of a Nikki Dial film.
Chris Adams, "How to Terrify Your Girlfriend, Pt. 117"
(Rye whiskey) doesn't come with umbrellas, or food coloring. There're no fancy slogans, no caustic advertising wit, only caustic taste. It just sits there, daring you to drink it. Pick up the glass, bring it to your nose, smell the kerosene odor. Take a sip. Shudder. Now take another. Hear the ice chatter against the side of the glass. Feel the glow in your abdomen. Now lay your head down on the bar.
Lex Marburger, "Liquor Lecture: Rye"
Thanks to (The Grass Harp), we can now add yet another to Hollywood's long list of mortal sins: Right alongside gratuitous sex and violence, we should add gratuitous Spanish moss. Spanish moss that looks like it was hung by an epileptic old gaffer, whose only previous experience was laying tinsel in The Christmas That Almost Wasn't.
Kerry Joyce, The Grass Harp
Perhaps what we need to do is test the depth of how important "being liked" is to our elected officials. What say we give the Commander in Chief unquestioned supreme powers during his or her administration, followed by a Presidential Pardon for anything done in office by his successor? For example, Bill Clinton has been re-elected: it's his last term, he has a change of heart about his own popularity, and proceeds to have Bob Dole dragged into the White House, where he is immediately butchered and served for dinner to key members of the National Democratic Committee and The Fly Girls....
Jeffrey Williams, "Idi the Gourmet"
The Macarena's wiles attack both the senses of sight and sound. Merely the first few strains of the piece are enough to conjure up repellent images of faceless millions gyrating about like people attempting sign language after free-basing. The actual event can occur most anywhere, as the song possesses the ability to instantly turn groups ranging in size from two to several thousands into an undulating mass. "The individual dies, the group is immortal." Surely it is Orwell's 1984 realized, only twelve years late.
Mike McCue, "March of the Lemmings"
Of course, Lollipop's high-priced consumer reporter doesn't have a car that needs a muffler, and even if Lollipop's high-priced consumer reporter did have such a vehicle, he or she would never take it to Meineke, but would take it instead to the Volvo dealer where we bought it. So we borrowed the car belonging to our hapless distribution guy, a real putz who's puttering his way through life in a 1990 Hyundai that was about as muffled as Courtney Love's mouth. Then we removed our hapless distribution guy's perfectly valid inspection sticker and replaced it with an old one we bought from this cokehead whose four-wheeled junk heap has a bumper sticker that says: "My Other Car is Up My Nose."
Kerry Joyce, "Muffled Screams"
If You Can't Say Anything Nice...
... use a pseudonym.
... do it in 500 words or less.
... you're probably right.
... it's your fault for buying that Lemonheads record anyway.
... you're hired.
The Editors, Garbage Pail
To call Showgirls "bad" is like calling Ted Bundy "moody"... I can envision Russ Meyer shaking his head, saying, "Jesus, you guys are a little breast-obsessed, aren't you?"
William Ham, "Cine Trash: Showgirls"
It was the moment when rock 'n' roll, like most of its audience, had reached that wonderful point in its adolescence where it was starting to grapple with Big Ideas but didn't yet know to be smug about it. Drugs and drug music had hit Middle America, and the kids were still too busy digging the nascent flash of freshly-altered brain chemistry to be hunkered down, intensely discussing what it all means, man, and concocting three-hour songs based on Herman Hesse novels.
Nik Rainey, Pebbles
Punk, we are constantly reminded, was a revolt in music (well, style, some will contest) against a rock industry that had lost touch with the original "fuck you" spirit of its origins... that, kids, was a long fucking time ago. Furthermore, it can be argued that when the leather and mohawk party was over, the A&R; weasels and radio programming geeks were pretty much unscathed by the whole Ramones-to-Sex Pistols-to-Black Flag onslaught. All punk really accomplished was to establish its own version of the music biz, complete with pecking orders, codes, totems (i.e. drugs and groupies of choice) and standards. In other words, Bad Religion = Fleetwood Mac.
Jon Sarre, Fifi
Punk rock super groups carry less weight for me than a wet Bounty paper towel. The fact that Don Dickweed used to play rhythm guitar for Electric Cowtippers... before the band kicked him out, got a guitarist that knew four chords, and got signed to a conglomalabel that milked their one song for three albums that sold trillions, is a useless bit of trivia best left to dumbfucks with time to kill and cash to blow. I care.
Chaz Thorndike, Pulley
(Oi! to the World) begins with gunfire and ends with a suicide, as all quality Christmas albums should.
Scott Hefflon, the Vandals
Does being in a band get you laid? Writing about them sure doesn't.
Austin Nash, New Radiant Storm King interview
The world's first athletic shoe for writers and intellectuals... Air Udite. Specially padded to bounce springily back when you kick the wall out of creative frustration; woven from a space-age fiber that absorbs beer, coffee, whiskey, and unconstructive criticism; feels like you're pacing impatiently on air! I can see the ad campaign already: Oscar Wilde enters America for the first time, greeted by the customs officer, who inquires: "Do you have anything to declare?" "Yes," Wilde says, "these shoes rule!" Then he jumps ten feet in the air and high-fives his muse.
William Ham, "The Culture Bunker: 23 Short Columns About Filling Space"